Telework for cross-border workers: great results – great challenges

On 14 June 2023, actors from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, the European Commission and experts from the GrenzInfoPunkt Aachen-Eurode and the Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross-border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) at Maastricht University met at the BENELUX premises in Brussels. Together they discussed the current achievement for cross-border workers in the form of the new framework agreement on telework and whether this agreement was an important step towards solving the problem in the German, Dutch and Belgian situation and beyond.

The transitional period for telework in terms of social security expires on 30 June 2023. (For tax, this has already been the case since July 2023.) From 1 July 2023, therefore, the “old” rules of European Regulation 883/2004 actually apply again, as before the pandemic. A current solution is a framework agreement of the European member states, which may allow for an extension of this social security exemption under certain conditions. The German, Belgian and Dutch governments have already signed the framework agreement.

At the workshop in Brussels, the current situation could now be discussed and debated. The occasion was the 100th B-Solutions case on the topic of telework among cross-border workers, which was initiated by the binational special purpose association Eurode (city of Kerkrade and Herzogenrath) and the GrenzInfoPunkt Aachen-Eurode. The aim was to examine which instruments already exist and could be used to solve the problem of teleworking for cross-border workers, and which other solutions could be pursued and implemented.

The discussion panel was deliberately made up of personalities from the field. The high-calibre ensemble from administration, politics and law was thus able to discuss at a very goal-oriented and realistic level. Because everyone came to the same table, insights from the respective parties reached the right address directly – without any ado.

The results of the workshop are still being compiled and evaluated by the ITEM Institute of Maastricht University.

The speakers were Michel Tilemans, Vice Secretary General of the Benelux Union, Martin Unfried, ITEM, Pim Mertens, ITEM, Ricardo Ferreira, DG REGIO, Martin Guillermo Ramirez, AEBR, Heike Xhonneux, GrenzInfoPunkt Aachen-Eurode, Prof. Dr. Marjon Weerepas, Maastricht University, Albert Raedler, DG TAXUD. Panel guests also included Evelien de Jong, EY, Jos Poukens, ACV, Reijer Janssen, Director of the Dutch Ministry of Finance, Yves Evrard, Chairman of the Finance Commission in the Benelux Parliament, Karl Heinz Lambertz, AEBR and Pascal Arimont, MEP (with video message).


This B-Solutions workshop was organised by GrenzInfoPunkt Aachen-Eurode, ITEM (University of Maastricht) and the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR/AGEG/ARFE), with the support of the Benelux Union, in the framework of a B-Solutions project funded by DG REGIO.

B-Solutions is a DG REGIO funded initiative managed by the Association of European Border Regions and supported by the DG REGIO Border Focal Point. B-Solutions supports the development of an expert base and actions to remove legal and administrative barriers to cross-border cooperation and mobility across the EU. This is in recognition of the key role that border regions play in the European cohesion and integration agenda.

This workshop has been produced with the financial support of the European Union and AEBR. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Zweckverband Region Aachen – GrenzInfoPunkt Aachen-Eurode and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union or the AEBR.

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